NBA-powered US basketball team to play Greece, Germany in Abu Dhabi

USA Basketball signs agreement with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi for the US to host tune-up games for the 2023 FIBA Men’s World Cup

Abu Dhabi is fast building its reputation as a favourite playground of elite basketball players with the US men’s national team and two other world-class national squads set to display their hoops prowess in the capital.

Abu Dhabi’s basketball fanatics certainly have another reason to rejoice after USA Basketball recently announced an agreement with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) for the US to host three games in the UAE capital featuring the men’s national teams from the US, Germany and Greece.

The US team will host Greece and Germany on 18 and 20 August, respectively, while Germany will play Greece on 19 August. The games serve as tune-up matches in preparation for the three teams’ participation in the 2023 FIBA Men’s World Cup.

The National Basketball Association (NBA)-powered US team is looking to regain lost glory at the World Cup after the powerhouse squad landed only seventh in 2019, following back-to-back gold medals in the 2010 and 2014 editions of the quadrennial meet.

Greece, a perennial contender in the event, whose main weapons include the “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 2019 and 2020 NBA MVP, is also looking to improve on its 11th place standing in 2019, while Germany, which placed 18th in 2019, will likewise be a dangerous contender for the US team.

“USA Basketball is thrilled to work with DCT Abu Dhabi to bring the USA Basketball Showcase to Abu Dhabi,” said Jim Tooley, CEO, USA Basketball. “This is the first time our Men’s National Team will play in the UAE and we’re excited to engage with fans from across the globe, while also offering our players and coaches memorable on- and off-court experiences.

“We are grateful to the national federations of Greece and Germany for their participation as we prepare for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, arguably the toughest international tournament in basketball.”

Saleh Al Geziry, Director General of Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “It’s set to be an unforgettable summer in Abu Dhabi and it’s an honour to host the first USA Basketball Showcase in the UAE. We look forward to welcoming players and fans from the USA, Germany and Greece, to cheer on their national teams and to discover a wide range of experiences in Abu Dhabi that inspire, excite and restore.”

The US qualified for the 2023 FIBA World Cup last month and is one of seven teams set to represent FIBA Americas in the 32-team field. The USA will play all its games in Manila during the tournament set for 25 August to 10 September, jointly hosted by Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines. The World Cup draw is set for 29 April in Manila.

Abu Dhabi is now becoming a regular venue of NBA games after Antetokounmpo’s Millwakee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks played two pre-season NBA games last year at the Etihad Arena. The NBA will also hold two pre-season games this year at Etihad Arena, although the dates have not been confirmed.

DCT Abu Dhabi has also partnered with the NBA for the Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi League, which concludes with the final match this Sunday, 12 March.

Commenting on the upcoming tune-up games, Ingo Weiss, president of the German Basketball Federation, said: “It’s really great for us to be able to play the USA and Greece in Abu Dhabi just before the FIBA World Cup. Abu Dhabi is an excellent location for such a top-class basketball event and is developing more and more into a real sports stronghold. The DBB is very much looking forward to our time in the United Arab Emirates and the great games there.”

Vangelis Liolios, president of the Hellenic Basketball Federation, said: “We are excited to be part of such a great celebration of basketball. Three continents will meet on the eve of the 2023 World Cup thanks to DCT Abu Dhabi. The Hellenic Basketball Federation accepted the invitation with a mix of joy and excitement for this double-encounter with the USA and Germany. We are looking forward to an amazing experience on and off the court. Our men’s national team will be ready to enjoy the game, hoping to bring smiles to the fans.”



18-20 August


Etihad Arena, Yas Island


Tickets for the tune-up matches will go on sale this spring, but fans can register for updates by visiting usab.com/news-events/usab-showcase-interest-form.aspx

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Image source DCT Abu Dhabi

Jobannie Tabada